via Ka Leo O Hawaii: UH Manoa Student College Newspaper & Media – Open forum held for student Q&A on budget cuts.

By Junghee Lee

News Co-Editor

Published: Thursday, October 1, 2009

Updated: Thursday, October 1, 2009

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Joel Kutaka

Mark Ing, ASUH president, helps facilitate the meeting between ASUH and Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Reed Dasenbrock and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Francisco Hernandez on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2009, in Campus Center 220.

The Associated Students of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (ASUH) held a meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 29, and invited Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Reed Dasenbrock and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Francisco Hernandez to answer questions students have on budget cuts.

Student: Is there enough money in legislative hands to give to the University of Hawai‘i?

Hinshaw: It’s true, our state is going through an economic crisis. But it will turn around. So if we can’t get it now, we can get it later so that we can recover more rapidly. UH Mānoa is the best investment. Students are the best voice, since they listen with a different ear, since you guys are the future. However, you have to prepare for the next step. You can’t recover right now because there is a severe monetary loss.

Student: What is the plan to securitize the stimulus money by the legislature? 

Hinshaw: The $30 million cut that we took from the governor was based on the number of people in our institution and put it on the 36 days’ furlough. The cuts have already started and I’m definitely trying to get that back. The last two years, my biggest focus is repairing maintenance and facilities, because I think that cuts cost all of those we are trying to achieve. The university is an investment. We generate money for Hawai‘i. It’s shown that for every dollar invested in UH Mānoa, they generate $5.34 worth of spending in Hawai‘i. If they cut on us, they are losing money as well.

Student: The class sizes have grown this semester, and it’s going to continue to grow. Are there any plans to make sure there are classrooms for the larger classes?

Dasenbrock: In 1972, there were 23,000 students. Many of the buildings precede that and there are many new constructions. We believe the space is there; it’s just how efficiently we use it. We need to be akamai (smart) about how we use the space. Capacity is there; it’s just how we develop the business system.

Student: Why is the Travel Industry Management (TIM) school considering being merged into Shidler’s business school when it is the third-largest school on campus?

Hinshaw: Merger means TIM school stays a school. We have schools within colleges; that is not an unusual arrangement. TIM has a great connections with Asia, and Shidler is doing great too, so we are trying to create the best with fewer faculties.

Student: Why is the undergraduate communication science and pathology degree frozen? What about students that are almost done with their degree?

Hinshaw: They didn’t have the people to provide the experience for this program. They are taking the time out to reorganize and see what they can offer in the undergrad level, but more on the master’s, because this is a unique program required for certification. Shift in what can we offer uniquely, because a lot of students from different backgrounds can enter that program.

At the conclusion of the event, Hinshaw said, “UH Mānoa is a generator for the state of Hawai‘i; the faculty and staff here generate millions of dollars worth of research. That has a huge impact on the state. The $66 million cut is going fast, and it’s a large amount of money that we need adjust to. However, we are making progress in using the money that we have to improve the university.”